Poems

NEW FRIENDS

Edward Hopper, The Automat, De MoinesArt Center

NATURAL SELECTION

I am a gathered church of odds and ends—
a father’s dream, a mother’s looks,
clips from movies, passages from books,
snippets of conversations with my friends.

My doctrine’s nebulous, but I 
am held together by
ritual responses and routines
that get me through familiar scenes. 

So is this it? The same old hymns each week?
I sit without a paddle up a creek,
knowing I must do . . . I-don’t-know-what,
splicing “Yes” and “No,” to “If” and “But.”

My friends say natural selection
determines our directions and our ends.
Is that what’s telling me I need new friends?

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